U.S. 49 reopened south of Jonesboro after train derailment - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

U.S. 49 reopened south of Jonesboro after train derailment

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Railcars sit on U.S. 49 after a severe storm derailed them on June 5, 2014. Railcars sit on U.S. 49 after a severe storm derailed them on June 5, 2014.

OTWELL, AR  (KAIT) – U.S. 49 south of Jonesboro reopened to traffic Saturday after being closed ten days because of a train derailment.

A severe thunderstorm blew cars off the tracks near Otwell along the Poinsett, Craighead County line on June 5th. The railcars fell onto the roadway. It took Union Pacific several days to remove all the train cars before the highway department could repair the damage.

According to Walter McMillan, a District Engineer with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, at least 45 railcars were blown off the tracks, and some sections were double and triple stacked. No one was injured in the derailment.

The closed section of road meant a commute of 30 minutes or more out of the way for many people who live in western Poinsett County and eastern Jackson County who traveled to the Jonesboro area.

Crews are also repairing the Union Pacific railway.

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